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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 07:03 GMT
Shot ex-UDA chief's assets frozen
Former UDA leader Jim Gray
A court has frozen the assets of murdered UDA leader Jim Gray
Assets belonging to a murdered former senior UDA man have been frozen by Northern Ireland's High Court.

The assets of the late Jim Gray, former east Belfast "brigadier", estimated at 200,000, were frozen at the request of the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA).

The ARA said it believed the assets were the proceeds of crime.

They include an interest in a house at Knockwood Park, an 18 carat gold bracelet and a BMW car. Gray was shot outside his father's home in October.

Jim Gray's sister, Elizabeth Gray, is also named in the order in respect of 23,000 held in a bank account in her name.

The ARA has not alleged any wrong doing on her part but has argued that this money was given to her by Gray, 47, and also represented the proceeds of crime.

Other assets belonging to the late UDA leader include a 10,000 euro bank draft, about 3,000 in cash, monies held in a number of bank accounts and the proceeds of several pensions and insurance policies.

Charges

The estimated net value of recoverable assets - after mortgages and other commitments - is in the region of 100,000.

The ARA argued Gray's expenditure was substantially higher than his declared income, and that he derived his assets from a wide range of criminal activity including terrorism, drugs and money laundering.

ARA Assistant Director Alan McQuillan said this was "only the first step" in its probe of Gray's assets.

"We will now carry out further enquiries into the origins of the frozen assets and into the existence of any unidentified assets, with the intention of applying for a recovery order in due course," he said.

"However, this first step further demonstrates that there is no hiding place for ill-gotten gains and that the extensive powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act are effective in taking the profit out of crime."

Gray was shot dead while on bail on various criminal charges, but before his death, his assets had been frozen under a restraint order obtained by the Public Prosecution Service in relation to the criminal proceedings against him.

Police have said the UDA may have been involved in the murder of one of its most high-profile former members.


SEE ALSO:
Gray gunmen put children at risk
12 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
Funeral is held for loyalist Gray
11 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
Women released in killing probe
06 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
Former loyalist leader shot dead
05 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
Papers seized in ex-UDA boss case
31 May 05 |  Northern Ireland


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